eLearning: Interesting Weekly Finds #13

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1. Games Change Brains – There have been many important findings on the benefits of video games in the last few months. This was a great post that put those in perspective.

• Video gaming improves visual perception, processing and attention.
• Internet use engages more neural circuitry than book reading in the digital generation.
• Sizes of three structures in the brain can predict a video gamer’s success.
• Learning environments of video games can educate children effectively.
• Building computer games promotes critical thinking and creative thinking skills.

2. Recognizr: Facial Recognition Coming to Android Phones – More great technology hitting smart phone platforms. Originally built as a software concept, the Android app called “Recongnizr” is a mobile prototype that allows you to use your phone in order to “see” who a person is and what web services and social networks they’re connected to. App users can also associate traditional address book details with their profile like their full name, address, phone number and email.

3. Relevance in Twitter – Feedtrace picks content that is relevant to you from Twitter. It takes the noise out and gives you the stuff you really care or enjoy. Feedtrace studies the links you have shared before, does some complex math, and selects a list of real-time stories (news, articles, videos, etc) that you should like. This process (algorithm) is in constant improvement, so you should see better results every week.

This sort of system has obvious implications in eLearning. I’d imagine an intelligent agent of this sort constantly dealing with the fire-hoses of information, picking out content that is interesting and aids in learning or adds value to performance in some way.

4. An HTML5 framework – SproutCore is an open-source platform for building fast rich cloud applications on the web. Specifically, the tools we develop are suitable for building large-scale applications that scale to many millions of users across many different devices. The first of many HTML5 frameworks to come. Great to try building some HTML5 applications.

5. AS3 Lib for Yammer – An AS3 Yammer API library that communicates with the Yammer service. The as3yammerlib is hosted on GitHub and the source code is publicly available. To use the library you will need your own consumer key and secret for the Yammer API available from Yammer’s developer site. The library is also dependent on the as3corelib for doing JSON parsing and as3-signals for broadcasting events. A cool way to integrate Yammer into your learning applications.

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